'The Flash' actor Hartley Sawyer fired for historic tweets

Actor Hartley Sawyer won’t be on the CW’s The Flash when it returns in 2021.

He’s been fired for posting racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets that he shared before he joined the show in 2017 as Ralph Dibny, also known as Elongated Man.

“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” the CW and the show’s producers, Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions, along with showrunner Eric Wallace, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

“In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Such remarks are antithetical to our values and policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”

Wallace said more about the decision on Twitter.

The Flash cast member Grant Gustin reposted Wallace’s words and added this: “I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully. I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.”

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Sawyer, 35, shared the offensive tweets mostly between 2012 and 2014, but they were recirculated in the past couple of weeks. People called out Sawyer and the network after the CW posted about its support of the Black Lives Matter movement. A couple of the many messages cited are ones that read, “The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me,” and, “Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN.”

Hartley Sawyer in The Flash. (The CW)
Hartley Sawyer in The Flash. (The CW)

In another, Sawyer said, “as a lad, one of my favorite activities was kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.”

Sawyer issued a public apology for his past comments on May 30. “This was not acceptable behaviour,” he wrote. “These were words I threw out at the time with no thought or recognition of the harm my words could do, and now have done today.”

He said he was, “incredibly sorry, ashamed, and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then.” However, Sawyer said, friends and experiences had helped him to “open my eyes” in the years since.

In addition to The Flash, Sawyer has appeared in TV’s The Young and the Restless and Glory Daze.